(waves hands furiously)
Go read this piece by Jennifer Gilbert. Right now.
This is the most wonderful, honest, refreshingly smart thing I’ve read about divorce in a long time, and yes, I’m counting my own blog in that tally.
“I haven’t witnessed much of a cultural response to that notorious [divorce] statistic beyond a lot of pearl-clutching and insisting that you guys, we all like, REALLY need to start staying married. These people repeatedly remind us that marriage requires a lot of hard work and commitment, in case we’re all imbeciles who have foolishly assumed it’s cool to treat our marriages with the same lax approach we took toward the goldfish we won at the carnival when we were six.”
Gilbert advocates “living with divorce” instead of sticking our collective fingers in our collective ears and screaming LA LA LA LA LA and hoping it goes away.
This isn’t just some hippie notion that I cobbled together out of idealism, naivete, and unicorns. I have personally seen how ill-equipped we are as a society to cope with divorce and how damaging that is. I worked as a legal assistant and spent my days watching people do horrible things each other. Divorcing someone who hates your guts can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. It can trap you geographically. It can consume your schedule. It can drain you in every way possible.
Absolutely. Especially if you have children, you will be tied to your ex for the rest of your life. Say it with me again. The rest of your life. If you do not attempt to make the best of it, it will eat you alive.
Please go read the whole thing. Even if you’re not married. Even if you’ve convinced yourself that your relationship is a special, special snowflake. Even if you just have a friend who needs to hear some good advice.